Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on January 15, 2001. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Bouquet Purple Dianthus Will Warm Your Attitude
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
After those 100-plus degree days in August, we should feel guilty complaining about the cold winter we've had. It helps knowing that some hot new plants like the Bouquet Purple dianthus will be showing up soon to help us forget the frigid December and January.
Bouquet Purple is coming out of PanAmerican Seed and will be available as transplants at many garden centers shortly. It is considered an inter-specific hybrid, but it is reminiscent of the Telstar series that was one of the first Louisiana Select winners.
Bouquet Purple is a taller cut-flower dianthus that is a good landscape performer with potential for cut-flower growers. The flower stalks reach 18 to 24 inches in height and produce abundant bouquets ready for the cutting.
This dianthus is one of those plants where the seed company has taken horticultural liberties with the color description. The plant is in no way purple. It's also not blue. The flowers are bright, bold and hot pink, which is really just fine.
Last year, I saw Bouquet Purple on the annual pack trial tour in California. In fact, it was probably the toast of the whole tour. I immediately looked for some to plant at the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs but could not get them in the ground until around May 15.
That late date coupled with the extreme summer temperatures made me less than hopeful. I was surprised that they established quickly and bloomed all summer. They were still looking good for the Fall Flower and Garden Fest in October. They are indeed a "cut and come again" type flower.
I can't tell you how long they will survive in your garden. Telstar is considered a short-lived perennial but well worth the price. Bouquet Purple will have no problem tolerating our winters, and they are showing good heat tolerance so they may last longer. To be perfectly honest, they would be worth it as annuals.
Dianthus prefer well-worked beds that are loose, rich in organic matter and well-drained. When preparing a bed, incorporate two pounds of a slow-release 12-6-6 fertilizer with minor nutrients per 100 square feet of bed space. They will need plenty of sun to really bloom to their potential. You will want to lightly side dress with the fertilizer once a month to keep them growing and producing.
Two important steps to your happiness with the Bouquet Purple is to mulch to keep the summer soil temperatures moderate as well as to conserve moisture. The next step is to deadhead not only to keep the plant looking tidy but to also keep flower stems coming. For cut flowers, it is recommended that stems be cut when three flowers are fully open.
For the prettiest display, set out in drifts of three to four plants per square foot. The hot pink color lets them combine nicely with pansies such as Purple Rain, coreopsis and even the True Blue Panola. In addition, Bouquet Purple also would combine well with daffodils in the early spring garden.